Article Text

PDF

The naming of parts
  1. J M S Pearce
  1. Anlaby, East Yorks, UK; jmsp{at}freenet.co.uk

    Statistics from Altmetric.com

    Many deplore the journalistic trend to label well recognised conditions by acronyms, or by recently invented names—commonly to no useful purpose. Thus neurologists may not welcome yet another two names, recorded in past literature but not in general currency.

    Umapathi et al give a most valuable and timely review of the dropped head and bent spine syndromes.1 But why perpetuate the ungainly phrase head ptosis? Ptosis, Greek πτωσιζ = falling, has traditionally been applied only to the upper eyelid and to prolapse of any of the viscera or of the breasts. Head drop is short and its meaning is unequivocal.

    Camptocormia, Greek καμπνλ = bent; κορμοζ = trunk of a tree: but, like a few others,2 Umapathi et al apply it to signify a bent spine. Camptocormia was first an illness occurring among soldiers in World Wars I and II, and was regarded as a sign of hysteria. Ankylosing spondylitis is a more frequent cause. It is an ostentatious word that portends something more mysterious than a bent back or neck. To be similarly pretentious, can we not survive without such euphuisms?

    References

    View Abstract

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.